Vincent Cable
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Every penny of Vince's fee is donated to a charity of his choice, fees on request.

John Vincent Cable, known as Vince Cable (born 9 May 1943) is a British politician and was the acting leader of the Liberal Democrats until the election of Nick Clegg. He is Member of Parliament for Twickenham and has been the Liberal Democrats' main economic spokesperson since 2003, having previously served as Chief Economist for the oil company Shell from 1995 to 1997. He was elected as deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Commons in March, 2006. He was acting leader of the Liberal Democrats on the 15 October 2007 following Sir Menzies Campbell's resignation, but announced soon after that he would not be a candidate in the leadership election.

Cable has fought parliamentary seats for Labour, the SDP, and the Liberal Democrats.

He was a member of the Liberal Party at university, but joined the Labour Party after graduation. In 1970 he unsuccessfully fought Glasgow Hillhead for Labour, and later became a Glasgow councilor. In 1979 he sought the Labour nomination for Hampstead, losing to Ken Livingstone, who was also unsuccessful in taking the seat.

He left Labour for the Social Democratic Party in 1981. He was the SDP/Liberal Alliance candidate in his home city of York in both the 1983 and 1987 general elections. In 1992 he lost in his bid to unseat Conservative MP Toby Jessel, but won the seat of Twickenham at the 1997 General Election, and increased his majority in the elections of 2001 and 2005.

Cable contributed to the 2004 Orange Book and is identified with the economic liberal wing of the party. He believes that the Liberal Democrats should stand for "fairer taxes, not higher taxes", and many have seen this as a pitch for centre-right voters who did not support the Lib Dem's proposal at the 2005 general election to increase taxes on those earning over £100,000 (a policy which Cable himself is understood to be uncomfortable with).

Prior to the 2005 Liberal Democrat party conference, Cable suggested that the Lib Dems might form a coalition government with the Conservative Party in the event of a hung parliament at the next general election. Then party leader Charles Kennedy dismissed the suggestion at the time, maintaining that the party will remain an "independent political force".

In late 2005/early 2006, Cable circulated a letter amongst his frontbench colleagues expressing a lack of confidence in the leadership of Charles Kennedy. Eleven out of the twenty-three frontbenchers co-signed the letter.

Speaking about the takeover of HBOS by Lloyds TSB in fallout from the credit crunch in September 2008, Cable labelled the hedge funds which profit from short-selling as "masters of the universe". He has published several books and reports on international economics, trade and environmental issues including:

  • Protectionism and Industrial Decline, 1983
  • The New Giants: China and India (Chatham House), 1994
  • The World's New Fissures; The Politics of Identity (Demos), 1995
  • Globalisation and Global Governance (Chatham House), 1999
  • Multiple Identities (Demos), 2005
  • Public Services: Reform with a Purpose (Centre for Reform), 2005
  • The Storm: The World Economic Crisis and What it Means (Atlantic), 2009
  • Tackling the fiscal crisis: A recovery plan for the UK (Reform), 2009

In May 2010, Vince Cable declared his resignation as deputy leader to dedicate more time to his Cabinet role as Business Secretary.

Without question, Vince Cable has unrivalled respect in the worlds of politics and finance as a person who, more than any other, warned of the arrival of the world’s present financial crisis, and now commands respect as he comments on the path to recovery.

“…the holy grail of economic comment these days…”     — Alan Duncan, Conservative MP


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